Following Drawing Scripts

Eighth Mansion of the Moon
Originally uploaded by anselm23

When I realized that today’s Mansion of the Moon image involved drawing an eagle with a man’s head, I went to, and I looked for a template or step-by-step tutorial in how to draw an eagle, and then I massaged it by adding a human face to the eagle body instead of a beak. Once the eagle was completed, I tried to imagine the view behind it, and was rewarded by a sense of what mountains and mesas and desert might look like to the eagle, or rather, from above the eagle. And so it came to pass.

I’m reluctant to impute deep philosophical meaning to these images, but I think it’s significant that I drew these, and a number of friends contacted me out the woodwork and scaffolding of my life, on a day devoted to love and friendship and fellowship. I don’t think I won any wars today, and my imprisonment isn’t confirmed in any way, but I did get up and make art today, and rather successfully, I think.

Which is what’s on my mind—

My mother the artist (Gordon has his mother the psychonaut, I have my mother the artist) is afraid of drawing. So guess what? I taught her Dave Gray‘s Semigram:

Artist, magician, teacher, poet, whatever you are that reads my blog: get out your pencil and your notebook, and learn this lesson by heart. Drawing is thinking, and your drawing will be crippled like my mother’s has been crippled, if you don’t learn some of the cartoonish basics like line and shape. Learning to draw images will improve your sigil work and your divinations if you’re a magician. It will improve your board notes, if you’re a teacher. If you’re a poet, well… maybe it will improve your poetry to know how to make visual art, it’s hard to say; but it will deepen your love and appreciation for visual symbolism, which will deepen the quality of your use of language. Tony knows this well. You can make great birthday presents with your artwork, eventually. And, it will allow you the chance to delight children of all ages and maybe impress people. Just don’t be creepy about it.

But allowing yourself some creative freedom to make mistakes and develop confidence in your abilities as an artist is critical. I used a drawing tutorial today for an eagle. So what? I’d still be struggling without the prior efforts of another artist to help me over that first hump. To paraphrase Isaac Newton (insulting Robert Hooke, as it happens): We stand upon the shoulders of giants.

Get drawing.

Via Flickr:
The eighth mansion of the moon is ruled by the angel Amnediel, and it is imaged as an eagle with a man’s head. It conduces to victory in war, and the moon in this mansion signified love, friendship and society from fellow travelers; it drives away mice and afflicts captives.

I’ve imagined the image as a floating eagle, high above the desert landscape, with the curvature of the earth in sight, and a Mesa and a mountain visible below. The dots help contrast between the eagle and the background. Paint or ink might improve the line quality — birds’ plumage is more color than line, even on an eagle. The base design of the eagle came from

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